RV stays in shape during quarantine

The cancellation and delay of winter sports has forced student athletes to stay in shape on their own

Brianna Ottey, Sports Writer

As the coronavirus outbreak advances, high school sports seasons are forced into delay until it is deemed safe to proceed. As of now, basketball is expected to start on January 11th, swimming and track and field on February 1st and volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling on March 1st

Students are reinvigorated by the prospect of playing sports after being restricted from doing so. Understanding all facets to the postponement, Rancocas Valley student-athletes remain optimistic about having a season at all. Rather than sitting around at home, many continue to workout and stay in shape during this quarantine, preparing for an unpromised season. Evidently, the hindrance will result in shortened seasons and fewer competitions, as sports that typically start in November are now starting in January, February, and even as late as March.

“I spend my free time doing squats with resistance bands, push-ups, lunges and any core workout I can find online,” said RV track’s mid-distance runner Jazmine Daniels. “I try to go on runs two to three times a week so that I will be ready for the track season. With the possibility of running this year, I stay active because, during a regular year, we would’ve already started workouts. I feel it’s important to be ready and in good condition.”

Sanai Jenkins, Aaliyah Thompson and Joshua Oludoyi, participants of RV’s sports teams, share a similar sentiment, using their spare time to improve and better their game. 

“I started doing calisthenic and plyometric exercises–mostly body weight workouts. My goal isn’t necessarily only to stay in shape. My goal is to stay focused for the next time I get to play,” says Thompson.

Junior volleyball player Jardin Cuffey picked up a new diet during quarantine. Prior to quarantine, he worked out and conditioned his body regularly.

“Quarantine made me really focus on my diet and how poor my eating habits were,” Cuffey said. “I used to eat junk food and try to burn it off, but with this free time, I really wanted to eat healthier. As I worked on my diet, I continued to work on my body as well. I even started biking to stay in shape for volleyball. When the season comes, I will be ready.”

The coronavirus and the delay of all high school sports seasons affect all athletes—but especially seniors. This may be their last year to play the sport they grew to love. While some will continue their athletic career in colleges, senior season, for many, serves as a final goodbye to childhood sports.

Senior track runner and Wisconsin-commit Sheriyah Nutt looked forward to her last track season at RV. She spent all of quarantine training with coaches and her cousin, who is a trainer, three times a week. Nutt devoted this time to work on herself, knowing that when the season starts, she would be fit. She wants to end her last season with triumph and feels that by staying in shape, she has the means and ability to.  

“I’m excited for the track season, especially this year. I have a standing chance of being a captain and qualifying for competitions. I want to show all of my hard work from this quarantine and hope to end my last dance with a bang. This is the last time I will be able to run with the friends I grew up with, so, personally, this track season has a deeper meaning,” Nutt said.

As the season gradually approaches, coaches urge players to continue showing their commitment and dedication to their teams by spending their time preparing for the season. Although these sports seasons are not ideal for players, RV students choose to respond with perseverance and abide by the values of being a Red Devil. Athletes, and even students who are not involved in sports, choose to rise above and overcome this time of discomfort by staying in shape and working out with alternative exercises.

Owen Daily, a varsity soccer player said, “Even though my season is over, I continue to stay in shape. I have all of this time on my hands during this quarantine and use it to take care of my body. I find working out to be therapeutic. With everything going on, I find comfort in playing my music and doing exercises.”